The other day, Mr. T and I were driving to meet friends for the annual Jesuit High School Crab Feed (the one night a year I eat crustaceans). After belting out the “S and G More Than Carpets” jingle* as I am wont to do, T looks over at me with the most incredulous expression. The conversation went something like this:
T, dead serious: “Why are you tone deaf?”
T: Really, do you listen to yourself and think it sounds good?
T: Or can you not hear yourself? Really, which is it?
S: [Hysterical howling]
T: [Silently waiting]
S: Hang… [gasp] on… I have to post this to Facebook.
From there, he proceeded to patiently give me my first one-on-one singing lesson, working out the notes to the S and G jingle in which I demonstrated the ability to be both pitchy and flat, and change keys multiple times. (The entire song goes like so: “S and G more than carpets, where quality is a aff-ord-a-blllllle” for those of you not in the greater Sacramento area.)
It’s no secret that I’m tone deaf. I’ve admitted as much on this very piece of the internets, blaming my sister, lead singer of North Highlands, for hoarding all of the musical talent in the entire family. Although, like other melodically-challenged individuals who like to sing with the radio or in the shower, I delude myself into thinking I’m not that bad. Sadly, all evidence is to the contrary. While I can definitely follow along on the right notes (how else did I get through choir in high school??), I cannot hear myself or judge when I’m off key. I just know it sounds bad!
I guess I didn’t realize how bad until T sucked me into a recent episode of American Idol. Although I abstained last season–truly, I didn’t watch an episode the entire time!–the new mix of judges got my curiosity going, so we watched one of the audition shows. Whenever someone truly horrendous would sing their hearts out, I’d lean over and say “At least I’m not that bad, right??” To which T would hedge, “Well…” Let’s just say he thinks I could definitely get on TV with my combination of cuteness and bad singing. Oh can you just imagine? I’ll have to practice my “This has been my dream since I was in utero” speech and see how far I get.
In any case, this inability to carry a tune is why I have “take voice lessons” on my life goals list. It’s not that I want to be on stage or audition for American Idol… I’d just like to sing happy birthday without feeling self-conscious. Or, and this is to see if my sister is paying attention, sing “Always and Forever” without being laughed at!
* I can’t help it, I sing radio jingles with abandon!